I had the great fortune to visit Nepal a few years ago and tried many of the traditional Nepal recipes there. I wanted to experience the culture of Asia and Nepal was part of a trip where I took in the sights, sounds and flavors of this amazing continent.
Nepal, of course, didn’t disappoint, the people are friendly and the country is steeped in culture. But, what truly surprised me was that the Nepal traditional food recipes from Nepal were absolutely stunning.
Wherever I went, whether I ate street food or in restaurants, the traditional Nepal recipes were absolutely delicious and therein began my love affair with the food I ate in Nepal.
A lot of people don’t know this but Nepal is a country situated between India and China, so the Nepal traditional food recipes are vastly different than what most people would expect. And, as there are very few Nepalese restaurants outside of the country, you would be forgiven for thinking that the food from here sounds pretty unappealing.
Hunting For Traditional Food in Nepal
But, don’t be mistaken. Nepal has wide-ranging and distinctive flavors that bring forth a vast array of food from all over the globe.
While some of the Nepal traditional food recipes are curry-based, you will often see many other traditional Nepal recipes as well such as momos or bhaji, which are meat or vegetable dumplings and samosas, which are deep fried pastries stuffed with potatoes, peas and spiced with cilantro.
While you can find many of these foods in other countries, what is amazing about the food from Nepal is its deliciousness with a combination of spices and ingredients that will make your mouth water.
If you ever get the chance to visit Nepal then one thing that you should do is eat out.
Nepalese Nepal traditional food recipes can be found all over Kathmandu and even more in areas where there are a lot of tourists, but you should also step outside the tourist areas as well. There are lots of places where you can get Nepalese food to eat and it is absolutely delicious.
In Kathmandu, you can go to the street stalls for everything from momos and meat bhajis to dumplings with a hint of curry. You will find restaurants in Kathmandu that serve up Nepal traditional recipes such as momo dahl, a potato dish cooked with tomatoes and spices.
A popular dish from here is the mango lassi which is something like a mango shake but made with yogurt instead of milk although if you ask for milk you will get it as well in restaurants near Thamel.
If you want to go off the beaten track, then you can head north to places such as Nagarkot and there are lots of small restaurants in this area where Nepalese families eat and you will find more Nepal traditional food recipes than in the touristy areas.
You can also find hotels and guesthouses that offer family-style meals where they will cook up a large pot of food and serve it up to all the guests.
This is a great way to experience the food from Nepal if you are visiting the country.
But, what is most surprising about Nepali food is how delicious it is despite being simple and quick to make. The simple reason for this is that the ingredients used are natural, grown in Nepal and unprocessed.
5 Most Popular Foods From Nepal
1. Pani Puri
Nepal’s favorite appetizer is Pani Puri. Deep-fried puri filled with potato samosas, potatoes, and peas. It can contain chicken, mutton, or paneer. Pani puri is a ghee or oil-based curry served with green chutney and tamarind pickle. Pani puri is served with chai, which varies by region.
Momos are steamed or fried doughballs. Momos are popular in Nepal and with tourists. You can find momos everywhere and fill them with vegetables, chicken, or mutton. Best momos come from east Nepal, near Tibet. Popular dumplings include vegetable bhaji, chicken bhaji, and fish bhaji.
Different types of chutney are served with many Nepalese dishes. Spicy, sweet, and sour chutneys complement many foods. Sweet chutneys go well with deep-fried dishes like samosas and momos, while spicy chutneys go well with dal bhat.
4. Dal Bhat
Dal Bhat is a popular rice-and-dal dish in Nepal (lentils). It’s a filling breakfast or lunch dish. Dal Bhat is eaten throughout Nepal with vegetables, meat, and pickles.
5. Yak Cheese
Nepal’s yak cheese is one of its most popular foods, and it’s often served as an appetizer before other meals. Yak cheese’s flavor depends on how long it’s aged, but some Kathmandu restaurants serve it with honey or sweet chilli paste.
The 5 Most Popular Questions About Food From Nepal
Is Nepali Food Healthy?
Nepal traditional food recipes are full of vitamins and minerals. Most of the vegetables used are fresh, locally grown, and chemical-free. Most dishes are prepared without oil, making them healthy as long as you don’t overeat rice. Nepalese food is only unhealthy if you eat too much yoghurt, but that’s true everywhere yoghurt is eaten.
Are Nepalese People Vegetarians?
Nepalese aren’t vegetarian, despite popular belief. There is no evidence to suggest that Nepalese are vegetarians, but many people think they eat meat and fish while others say they don’t.
Some say that because many people move around and eat at different restaurants, it may be a cultural thing, which could explain why the same food is eaten differently in different parts of Nepal. I’ve seen both, and it depends on the restaurant.
What Food From Nepal is The Best?
This is a difficult question to answer, as the food from Nepal can go well with anything. It is just a matter of finding what you like best, whether it be an appetizer such as pani puri or an entrée such as momo dahl that is served with a spicy gravy.
There are also plenty of other dishes that you could eat when you are in Kathmandu if you decided to venture out into the city. We had some delicious Nepali food at the Royal Courtyard hotel and our breakfast was delicious in the restaurant and then there were some great lunchtime specials as well.
What is The Typical Meal From Nepal?
The typical meal from Nepal will vary depending on the region that you are in. Though the staple food of Nepal is rice and dal (lentils), you can find a variety of other dishes wherever you go.
Rice and lentils are like a national dish and with many families relying on this as a way to survive in the poorer areas of Nepal it is a food they have grown up eating. The dal bhat is also very popular in Kathmandu and if you eat at any restaurants there then you will find this as a part of their special meals.
Why Doesn’t Nepal Have Many Fast Foods?
Nepal is not a country that has too much fast food and they don’t have many restaurants in the city. However it is still possible to get some fast food such as burgers at some of the restaurants in Kathmandu.
There are also plenty of street vendors who sell a lot of Indian, Chinese, chicken and paneer type meals. There is something for everyone when you go to eat out in Nepal but if you want something that you can pick up and go then there are not many options.
25 Best Traditional Nepal Recipes To Try
One of the most famous Nepal traditional food recipes is this Nepalese Style Dhal Bhat a very classical combination of dal and rice that is usually served side by side as lunch meal. It is very similar to the Dal – Chawal that is famous in north India.
The dal that is prepared in Nepal is quite different. They usually add freshly ground Indian spice and is fried for few minutes and later on it is mixed along with cooked moong dal.
The flavor of whole spice like, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves make this traditional Nepal recipes special and will will help in adding a nice warm and soothing aroma to the dal. It is a tradition that the dal bhat is served along with “vegetable tarkari or torkari” to make it a complete and rich meal.
Here is a simple traditional Nepal recipes of homemade paani puri… probably one of the most popular kind of snacks among girls/women. Pani puri is something like Golgappa which are round-shaped balls.
Pani puri is famous all around the world but in different styles. Almost in every country, this Nepal traditional food recipe for pani puri is popular as a ” STREET FOOD “. No one in this world I thought who didn’t like Pani puri.
Pani puri is served in different varieties, Pani puri is one of the best street food. The plate is full of puri, chutney, salad, khatta. Pani puri or Golgapa gives you the best food on the street.
Now I have learned the art of making something that makes me enjoy crime at home. I’m not talking about heat energy instead of refining raw materials and freshwater quality.
Wai Wai noodles recipe|Wai Wai noodles and soup recipe: easy to make and super flavorful noodles and soup recipe. Wai Wai noodles are on my favorite noodles and is very close to my heart because I am eating this since my childhood.
These Nepal traditional food recipes are from my hometown is near the Nepal border so we get the combo of Nepalese and Indian food here and we easily get Nepali Wai Wai noodles here.
The traditional Nepal recipe for these noodles are very delicious you can eat it cooked or uncooked and for this recipe I have made flavorful soup and noodles combined in sauce and veggies. It is the perfect combination trust me just like momos and momos chutney.
The traditional Nepal recipes for Gundruk are made by fermenting leaves esp Mustard leaves or Raddish leaves and then drying them to make various dishes. Gundruk is used to make Gundruk Soup, Gundruk Pickle and even mixed with other vegetables.
In olden times gundruk was prepared by wrapping mustard or radish leaves in fig or banana leaves and kept in pits covered with soil.
Try my traditional Nepal recipe for Nepalese Red Lentil Dahl for a nutritious and vegetarian dinner option! Red lentils cooked with onions, garlic, ginger and aromatic spices into a delicious curry served over plain rice.
For such a simple dish it is amazingly fragrant and comforting. These Nepal traditional food recipes have a flavor that is built gently and without a lot of ingredients, but it all comes together beautifully to make a dish that is creamy, comforting, and aromatic.
This spicy vegan potato salad is a popular dish in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, and is served at all celebrations. There are a number of traditional Nepal recipes and this is my favorite
It is simple to make and packs one heck of a flavor punch. Try it once and you’ll never make boring old potato salad ever again.
Marinated, grilled, and paired with tender carrots and a simple feta-mint condiment, the traditional Nepal recipes for lamb skewers are the answer when you’re looking for big flavor. For the most tender results, use meat cut from the top round of the leg of lamb, or trim around the connective tissue of a butterflied leg to get to the leaner meat.
Here is a fiery Nepal traditional food recipe for curry which is from Nepal. The curry has the mutton pieces that is pressure cooked with the goodness of whole spice like cardamom pods, cloves, bay leaf and cinnamon sticks. The gravy also has fried onions and tomatoes that are seasoned with meat masala and Garam masala powder.
Nepalese Mutton Curry also known as Khasi Ko Masu is a common household recipe from Nepal often served with beaten rice. It is a fiery traditional curry from our lovely neighboring country. It is typically cooked in a pressure cooker on low heat which brings out all the flavor from spices.
This spicy potato salad is one of the most common dishes in Nepal. Every Nepali person would have had this achar at least once in their lifetime. It’s one of the freshest and cheapest of all traditional Nepal recipes to prepare and is loved widely.
This is a traditional Nepal recipes for Thukpa which is a popular soup in the northern Himalayan region of Nepal. Fragrant, hearty and simple to prepare, this satisfying soup recipe is an easy midweek winter warmer.
Thukpa is a Himalayan noodle soup, usually served with meat and is really delicious with lean chicken. It is popular in Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, and some parts of India. “Thuk” means heart so it is a heart warming dish and a favorite among Nepal traditional food recipes. In Bhutan it would usually be made with buckwheat noodles.
Tomato, Green Peas and basic spices like tej patta, cumin, black cardamom and more, adds up to prepare this Nepal traditional food recipes specialty called Nepalese Vegetable Pulao. You can also pack this for your Lunch Box.
Nepalese Vegetable Pulao is a very popular Nepal traditional food recipes in Nepal. It is very easy to cook but it is totally packed with flavors. Whole spices make it so fragrant and it is a treat for your nose as well. One of the best parts of this pulao is that it is very light on the stomach and addition of lemon juice makes it very refreshing.
12. Nepal Goat Curry
This traditional Nepal recipe is popular in South Asia, the Caribbean and many countries in Western Africa. Goat curry typically is served with rice, a side of lentils and vegetables. Most Nepali households where goat curry is served prefer to use meat that has bones in it, because the bones lend a distinct flavor.
In general Nepal traditional food recipes for goat are something special, goat meat’s taste and cooking time vary depending on the age of the animal. To make sure you have an evenly cooked curry, ask the butcher to give you meat from same goat. Leg, neck and rib meat are good for making curry.
Nepali Dal Bhat or Dahl Bhat, is a traditional Nepal recipe made of lentils and rice. It is considered to be the national dish of Nepal. One can see how this comforting combination of flavors and heat, would be perfect on a cold day.
The rice or bhat is either boiled or steamed. It is often served in the middle of the dish and surrounded by the dal/lentils and perhaps some other curries, achar’s or chutney’s.
Nepalese eat this Nepal traditional food recipes at least once a day. It is considered to be a well balanced meal. Lentils come in different colors and have good health benefits. This one was made with red lentils but you could use any color that you like or have on hand.
Momo chutney or momo sauce is a spicy dipping sauce served with street side momos. Let us see step by step pictures to make this traditional Nepal recipes for the best momos chutney recipe which is served with steamed dumplings. The Tibetan momo chutney is sweet, tangy and spicy and is very easy to make.
Momo is a steamed filled dumpling and belongs to East and South Asian region. These dumplings with chicken filling are perfect to serve as an appetizer. This Nepali momo chutney recipe gets ready in just 10 to 15 minutes.
Without this spicy momo chilli sauce the taste of momos is incomplete. Every bite of momo dipped in this sauce enhances the flavors and makes you want more.
This slow cooker traditional Nepal recipe goat curry is one of my most popular recipes on the blog, and everyone who tries it seems to love it! Slow-cooking goat meat with Indian spices results in a perfectly tender, juicy, and flavorful curry.
Whenever I make this slow cooker goat curry, I make sure to relish every bite of it. It disappears quickly around here. The sauce is full of flavor, and the meat, when cooked slow, becomes perfectly tender and juicy.
This a vegetarian version of of a Nepal traditional food recipes for a famous Nepalese dish “Lamb Bhutuwa” which is often sold at roadside eateries. A lip smacking gravy made of paneer, mushrooms and spinach is a must try. Serve it with rice or phulka for lunch or dinner.
This a vegetarian version of famous Nepalese dish “Lamb Bhutuwa” which is often sold at roadside eateries. You can substitute lamb with paneer and it tastes equally delicious.
You can make this delicious curry for your everyday food and serve it with rice, paratha or phulka. As it includes paneer, it is high in protein and thus helps you to fulfill daily intake of your day.
Momo (dumplings) is one of Nepal’s most popular traditional Nepal recipes which can be eaten as an entre or as mains. It’s a dumpling filled with meat or vegetables as well. It is eaten with tomato pickle (golbheda ko achar). It is one of the must have food items in the restaurants as well.
When I started cooking dishes for my blog, I experimented with all kinds of food and baking and then one day out of sheer curiosity, I, googled for traditional Nepal recipes and was very disappointed when I did not find a single website that could provide me with nice and easy Nepali dishes.
Then I realized that there are so many simple and tasty Nepal traditional food recipes that we cook at home but it is not documented anywhere, so I decided to post all the Nepali dishes that I know (from my Grandma’s cooking classes, experience, cookbooks, food groups !!!) so that I could create a repository of Nepali dishes.
This simple and tasty Nepali style chicken curry is a favorite dish of my daughters.
This Nepal traditional food recipe packed full of proteins from the legumes, making it perfect for vegetarians to get their daily dose of vitamins and minerals. It’s creamy, toothy, and super aromatic for all of your heartwarming needs!
There’s chickpeas, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, chana daal, black eye beans, whole moons daal, split yellow gram, whole black gram, and many more nutritious legumes that come together for the ultimate texture!
It’s traditionally made with whole lentils, but I added some split lentils to thicken the texture because they cook faster and become soft.
Most of you friends might not be aware of Nepalese foods right? Nepalese People, they prefer rice in their Nepal traditional food recipes with some soup, curry and pickles. Meat is consumed regularly with different styles of cooking methods.
One of the most popular method is drying the raw meat for a month or so and consuming it with different spices.
The dried meat which will be used for the consumption is called “SUKUTI” in Nepali Language and in Nepalese food this recipe which I am going to serve you is called “SUKUTI SADEKO” Which means the dried meat is mixed with the marinade adding some raw consume able vegetables.
Choila is a traditional Nepal recipes for an appetizer that is incredibly hot, spicy and full of mouthwatering flavors. It is a non-vegetarian dish seasoned with authentic Newari spices.
In the Newar community, Choila has its own value as Newari people are fond of meat and most of their dishes are of meat. Even in festivals or pooja, they serve Nepal traditional food recipes such as Choila as Prasad. Festivals are not satisfied and celebrated without the tender of making this as a main dish.
22. Nepali Aloo Dum
A spicy, tangy Potato side Nepali dum Aloo or Darjeeling style Aloo Dum is pure bliss. This happened when I posted a picture of our Christmas family lunch. The traditional Nepal recipes for Nepali Aloo Dum was part of the deshi. Aloo dum is a very popular dish in my country Nepal.
Nepali Aloo Dum is one of the most favored of recent trending meals in the world. It’s simple, it is fast, it tastes yummy. It is appreciated by millions daily. Nepali Aloo Dum is something which I’ve loved my whole life. They are fine and they look wonderful.
These Nepal traditional food recipes for Paneer (Cottage Cheese) are served as a substitute for meat to vegetarians back home. It is expensive and treated as a delicacy in numerous occasions and festivals.
I love paneer matar curry, especially with rice, it is super delicious and that is why I make this dish often. There might be thousands of ways of making this recipe but below is the step by step process on how I prepare this dish. Enjoy
Sel Roti is a traditional Nepal recipe for a sweet ring-shaped bread prepared during Dashain and Tihar festivals. Sel roti is a traditional Nepalese sweet ring-shaped bread prepared during Dashain and Tihar festivals and many other occasions like marriage and parties.
Sikkim has majority of Nepali community which makes seal roti a famous food there. This Nepal traditional food recipes for sweet bread is prepared with rice. Rice is soaked overnight and ground into a fine paste. It is then mixed with sugar, ghee, water and flavored with cardamom.
The word Yomari, symbolically came from the Nepal Bhasa as it means the favorite flatbread in the local language. Here, ‘Yo‘ means the favorite, and ‘Mari‘ means the bread or the flatbread.
Though it is just a steamed dumpling filled with Chaku or Khuwa within the confection of rice flour, it tastes dam delicious.
There is even a festival devoted to the name of this dish, Yomari Punhi which explicates the extreme importance of Yomari in the lives of the Newa people. This is my Nepal traditional food recipe for Yomari
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